Sony Is "Disappointed" About Spider-Man Dispute With Marvel
"Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help."
Although Spider-Man has had some of his most successful movie outings as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the fact remains that the cinematic rights to the character are owned by Sony, rather than Marvel Studios parent company Disney. A dispute between the studios over the financing of future Spidey movies led to reports this week that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will no longer serve as a producer on future Spider-Man films. Now Sony has commented directly on the issue, expressing its disappointment with the situation while acknowledging the contributions of Feige.
In a series of tweets, Sony claimed that many of the reports about the dispute have "mischaracterized" discussions between the studios. The statement focuses on Feige's involvement, but clearly places responsibility for the decision for him not be involved with Disney. It also makes a clear reference to "IP they do not own," emphasizing that, ultimately, Spider-Man is Sony's property as far as movies are concerned. Check the tweets out below:
Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise. We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live action Spider-Man film. (1/3)— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) August 21, 2019
We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him – including all their newly added Marvel properties – do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own. (2/3)— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) August 21, 2019
Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue. (3/3)— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) August 21, 2019
Sony's tweets follows comments the studio initially made to io9, in which it stated that negotiations between the two sides are still in progress and that the issue at hand was over Feige receiving a producer credit on the films.
The big question remains over the future of Spider-Man and the MCU. Spider-Man: Far From Home was the official end of the MCU's Phase 3, setting the stage for what's to come from the universe of films. With Feige no longer being involved, it's possible that the Spider-Man franchise could instead exist outside of the MCU. Sony has already been building a non-MCU Spider-Man universe thanks to the film adaptation of Venom, as well as the upcoming Morbius movie, in which Jared Leto stars as the titular living vampire. Sources told Deadline that there were already two more planned Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland as the web-slinger, with director Jon Watts expected to return.
The situation could always change and the two studios could come to an agreement. Deadline, however, noted it would take something "dramatic" for that to happen. For now, an extended cut of Spider-Man: Far From Home will hit theaters on August 29. Disney's D23 also takes place this weekend and could bring more information on the future of the MCU, though it now seems highly unlikely that Spider-Man will be a part of that conversation at the event.